Guest Post - Cindy Thomson The Roots of Irish Wisdom and Celtic Song

The ancient history of Ireland has always spoken to me with a satisfying mix of wisdom and mystery. I hope it does so for others too. That’s why I wrote two non-fiction books. I have stuck mostly with fiction, but these two little books offer a concise history I hope readers find enjoyable. And they have photographs too!


The Roots of Irish Wisdom: Learning From Ancient Voices is a reprint of my book Celtic Wisdom: Treasures From Ireland. When I got the rights back from my publisher, I re-titled it, added my own black and white photographs, and put back in some of the content the original publisher cut. It’s a collection of Irish wisdom in the form of prayers, stories, and proverbs. I’ve added my own thoughts with chapters on the three patron saints (Patrick, Brigid, Columcille) and some information on the Irish Monastic Fathers.

Brand new is my book titled Celtic Song: From the Traditions of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. It explores the ancient history of song and rhyme from the Celtic people. While the actual melodies have faded away, we can get a sense of how these people used song and rhythm to remember the truths taught to them and revealed in the natural world. This is what Andy Rogers, worship leader and songwriter from the Causeway Coast of Ireland had to say:

Celtic Song cover2.jpg

“Reading the book, I have a sense of tapping into the history of the early Celtic church and their reverence for the Psalms. ‘Celtic Song’ was very inspirational for me!”

I have to say, researching and writing these books has been inspirational for me. I love uncovering the beliefs and truths the ancient people held dear. The purpose of history, it seems to me, is to learn from those who walked the path before us so that we may pass that legacy on. I hope you agree!

From The Roots of Irish Wisdom:

These apostles did not always seek out places where converts might be found. On the contrary, many of their destinations were the loneliest spots one could imagine. Skellig Michael is difficult to reach even today, when sea conditions sometimes make the journey unfeasible. The island (it is actually the larger of two rocky islands, but only one island was inhabited by people) is where the stone beehive huts of an early monastic settlement are still seen by climbing 600 ancient steps. The huts are perched on vertical cliffs overlooking the ocean. The ancient community was active from the sixth to the twelfth century. Since travel could be attempted only during pleasant weather, the monks who lived there were truly cloistered. Without distractions one is left with one’s own thoughts, and when all is quiet it’s easier to hear the voice of God. Hermits pray, and prayer is a powerful way to care for humanity.

I wish, O Son of the living God, O ancient, eternal King,

For a hidden little hut in the wilderness that it may be my dwelling, 

An all-grey lithe little lark to be by its side,

A clear pool to wash away sins through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Quite near, a beautiful wood around it on every side,

To nurse many-voiced birds, hiding I with its shelter.

~From “The Hermit’s Song”

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Jeanne Crane